Plot: What’s it about?
Robert Fishman (Rainn Wilson) was known as Fish, one of the baddest drummers in the world of rock. He was the cornerstone of Vesuvius, a hard rockin’ band with a bright future. But when Matchbook Records knocked with a chance at fame, the invitation didn’t include Fish, as the executive wanted his son in the band instead. Fish’s band mates took the fame and fortune over their friend, going to become of rock’s most popular bands. Now Fish bounces between menial jobs and struggles to move on, still stuck two decades in the past. When his nephew asks him to sit in on the sticks for a high school prom gig however, it sparks a second chance for Fish. He intends to make the most of this run, partying hard, even with mandatory adult supervision on the tour bus. But will fame be kind to Fish this time around, or send him to rock bottom once more?
I’ve been burned by countless comedies in the past couple of years, so when The Rocker was previewed, I figured once more I’d be let down. Perhaps it was this lowering of expectations, but I liked this movie and while it is by no means a great comedy, it was a fun way to spend 102 minutes. Rainn Wilson, best known as Dwight on the U.S version of The Office, pulls all the goofy faces and awkward dialogue he can out of the Fish role and for the most part, it works. I doubt he was the first choice, but he does well and works with his co-stars smoothly. The writing here is inconsistent, but still provides some solid laughs and manages to stay on track for most of the film’s duration. The 80s rock vibe is powerful here, so fans of hair metal and ridiculous rock personas will have a lot to laugh about with The Rocker. So if you’re looking for a rental to provide a fun night of cinema, The Rocker is worth a look and while not a classic, it is decent fun.
Video: How does it look?
The Rocker is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. This is a solid transfer that has moments of greatness, but not enough to be called a top tier release. The print looks excellent, which allows detail to be strong and at times, even eye popping, you’ll never want to see a man sweat this clearly again! The detail and depth are good throughout and peak with some impressive moments, but then taper back to above average. So this is a significant upgrade over the DVD, with bright colors, smooth contrast, and remarkable detail.
Audio: How does it sound?
This is a movie about rock music, so of course, the DTS HD 5.1 will make you want to bang your head! Well, at least it will make you rock out, as the music sounds excellent here. Aside from the music and the live performances, The Rocker has little in terms of dynamic presence. But even so, when compared to the usual comedic mixes out there, at least this one packs a nice kick when it comes to the tunes. The dialogue is spot on also, with no real issues to contend with. This release also includes a Dolby Digital 5.1 option, French and Spanish language tracks, and subtitles in English and Spanish.
Supplements: What are the extras?
A pair of audio commentaries start us off, the first with director Peter Cattaneo and star Rainn Wilson, the second with four of the film’s other stars. The director and star track is the better of the two, with dual perspectives and Wilson’s humorous anecdotes, while the all cast track is more brisk, but not as informative. A slew of featurettes are also on deck, from an MTV panel discussion to focused looks at the cast and their roles to a Fox Movie Channel special, plus more. None prove to be in depth, but most are fun and should be brisk views for fans. This release also includes internet podcasts, interviews, outtakes, deleted scenes, I’m Not Bitter music video, and a second disc with a digital copy of The Rocker for portable devices.